Anny is the founder and owner of Queer as Foxtrot, a social group and dance space for the LGBTIQ community.
You began dance at the age of 5, would it be fair to say that you've had a lifelong love affair with dance?
Yes that's true, I begged my mother to send me off to ballet class when I was a tiny child, it was the Red Shoes with Robert Helpman that got me. I’ve been in and out of dance studios around Melbourne my whole life and now I’m nearly 50 it's kind of embarrassing that I'm still dancing! But, I'm fitter than ever and buzzing with energy about teaching dance again, I SO love teaching. I started as a full time professional at the age of 19 and I still can’t keep off the floor boards - I believe to dance, is divine..
You're clearly very passionate, how does it feel to share your love of dance with others?
I love it. It’s a real joy to watch those 'penny-drop' moments for students, and to watch them develop into dancers. It’s a privilege to be a part of some magical moments on the dance floor and be witness to so many dancing journeys, as they’re happening. It can be a bit of a roller-coaster ride though, I experience the highs and also the lows with the students and can't help feeling involved, so it can be exhausting too, at times.
What's the most inspiring student story you've encountered in your time teaching?
There are so many stories; dancers working through their injuries, triumphs through heartaches and pain, lots of drama and tears, and that’s just behind the scenes! I can’t pick just one story, that's too hard. But, I’ve seen countless numbers of ordinary people come from no dance experience to go on to win Bronze, Silver and Gold medals at local and international events, and become masters of the dance floor, I could fill a book. I really do have an awesome job.
What's your advice to people who are curious to try dancing, but are yet to give it a go?
Well, dancing’s not for everybody, but it’s a good way to get quality time together with your partner and/or friends and is also a great way to keep fit. So, it’s not always about the dancing that people join. But, if you’re interested, just try beginners class or a private lesson, give it a few weeks so you have time to settle into it and then make a decision as to whether it’s for you, or not. But, do give it more than one go, because I'll warn you, the first class is often a bit of a disaster, but usually most people adapt and find their feet, just after a few weeks. The difference between 1 week and 4 weeks - is huuuge. So come with or without a partner, try to arrive early, wear fitted shoes, clothes that move and no thongs or flip flops, and the rest is in your hands, or feet as they say.. (haha)
We understand you're looking to host some dance parties - what would these look like?
Our QaF Dance Parties will have non-stop music including current tracks, old favorites and retro, 'til the last waltz closes the night. The dancing is non-stop, so participants need to pace themselves. However, there's lots of mingling, eating and drinking to be had, as well. Nibbles, soft drink and wine are provided as part of your entry, or you can BYO. There will be some basic instruction throughout the night (quick refreshers before the music starts), and you can expect a few Progressives (where everyone gets into a circle and passes their partner along), which are lots of fun.
There’s lots of participation, but you can also just come and watch . Our next party is on 8 Sept in Footscray, entry is: $15/$12 conc. cash at the door on the night.
To learn more about Queer as Foxtrot and Anny's classes or parties, visit queerasfoxtrot.com.au